This is Rochester
A summary of noteworthy news about media in Rochester
Most recent developments
Aug. 21, 2019 -- Democrat and Chronicle columnist David Andreatta has been named as the new editor of City Newspaper. He will succeed City Newspaper co-founder and co-publisher Mary Anna Towler, who is retiring Oct. 31.
Bill and Mary Anna Towler founded City Newspaper in 1971 and sold it in May to Rochester Area Media Partners, a for-profit subsidiary of WXXI.
"We are proud to have David join the talented and committed staff at CITY Newspaper to help preserve and expand independent local journalism in the Rochester area," said Norm Silverstein, president of WXXI and chair of the RAMP Board. "We look forward to enhanced coverage of arts and culture, neighborhoods, and important issues facing our community, such as the need for education reform," he said.
Veteran broadcaster Hausmann sets retirement dateAug. 12, 2019 -- WBEE-FM Steve Hausmann will retire at the end of August, ending a 51-year broadcasting career.
"I'm very excited," said Hausmann, 70. "It's been kind of an unkept secret around town, but I chose today to tell everybody that I'm retiring."
Hausmann, a former weekend sports anchor at WHEC-TV, has been at WBEE since 2001.
Rejected Gannett suitor may hinder mergerAug. 9, 2019 -- The announced merger the nation's two largest newspaper chains could face a roadblock following the revelation that rejected Gannett suitor MNG Enterprises, the owner of Digital First Media, has taken a more than 9 percent stake in New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media.
GateHouse and Gannett announced this week that they will merge in a deal that could close before the end of the year.
MNG said in a SEC filing that it is "evaluating the terms" of the New Media-Gannett merger and believes the consummation of the deal may "not be in the best interest" of New Media's shareholders.
GateHouse and Gannett announce merger planAug. 5, 2019 -- GateHouse Media and Gannett have agreed to merge in a deal creating the country's largest newspaper company.
New Media Investment Group announced a deal to acquire Gannett, which owns more than 100 other daily publications including the Democrat and Chronicle. GateHouse owns several daily and weekly papers in upstate New York, including the suburban Post newspapers in Monroe County, The Daily Messenger in Canandaigua, the Rochester Business Journal and The Daily Record legal newspaper.
GateHouse, the operating subsidiary of New Media Investment Group, will combine with McLean, Virginia-based Gannett, in a cash-and-stock deal financed in part with $1.792 billion from private equity firm Apollo Global Management.
The combined will retain the Gannett name, with New Media Investment Group CEO Michael Reed remaining as head of the umbrella company. Together, the two companies would operate more than 260 daily news operations.
The companies estimated they can save $275 million to $300 million in annual costs within 24 months.
GateHouse and Gannett moving closer to mergerJuly 18, 2019 -- GateHouse Media is deep in talks to buy USA Today owner Gannett and form the country's largest newspaper chain.
Perinton-based GateHouse owns nearly 700 papers across 39 states, including 156 dailies including The Daily Messenger in Canandaigua. It is owned by Fortress Investment Group, a hedge fund controlled by business tycoon Wesley Edens. Gannett, which published the Democrat and Chronicle, is already the biggest newspaper chain by circulation.
Radio personality quits over pay disputeJuly 11, 2019 -- WPXY-FM morning show co-host Whitney Young announced on social media that she had quit because she was being paid less than her broadcast partner.
"I choose to leave my position as morning show host, because my male co-host's salary was nearly double my own, and I was unable to negotiate a raise that would reduce the pay disparity," said Young, who teamed with Corey James from 5:30 to 10 a.m. weekdays.
Young, who said she had no ill will toward James, previously hosted the mid-day show and moved to the morning show in May 2018 after Megan Carter left the station.
DirecTV removes WROC-TV from channel offeringsJuly 4, 2019 -- More than 120 Nexstar television stations in 97 U.S. markets went dark early on the national holiday in a dispute over rights fees. The development affected WROC-TV, leaving DirecTV customers in Rochester minus two major network affiliates.
DirecTV discontinued carriage of WHAM-TV on May 29 as the result of another dispute over rights fees.
Nexstar and DirectTV blamed each other for the inability to resolve the distribution issue. Nexstar issued a statement saying it made multiple offers to extend the existing deal. AT&T countered with a statement saying "Nexstar has removed its channels from your lineup even though we offered Nexstar more money to keep them available to you."
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